Mailing address: 609 Baldy Hall, Buffalo NY 14260-1030
Office: 640 Baldy Hall
Phone: 716-645-0131
Email: shimojo at

I completed a Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University at Buffalo in 1995 and returned to the Department of Linguistics as faculty in 2001. Prior to this, I was Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) and in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures of the University at Buffalo. I teach courses in Japanese language, linguistics, and Japanese language pedagogy, and supervise graduate and undergraduate research.

Research Interests

My research focuses on Japanese, particularly lexical-semantic and psycholinguistic properties of categorization, syntax-pragmatics interface, corpus-based approaches to sentence structures, grammar of L1 and L2 Japanese.
The frameworks for analysis include Role and Reference Grammar and Centering Theory.
Current projects:

  • Analysis of Japanese discourse, L1-L2 comparison, referential choice, sentence forms and omissions

  • Discourse representations and focus structures in Role and Reference Grammar

  • Extraction restrictions in complex sentences

Representative Publications

  • Shimojo, M. (2019). Topicalization in Japanese cooking discourse. Open Linguistics 5. 511-531.

  • Shimojo, M. (2016). Saliency in discourse and sentence form: zero anaphora and topicalization in Japanese. In M. M. Jocelyne Fernandez-Vest and Robert Van Valin Jr. (eds.), Information Structure and Spoken Language in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Mouton de Gruyter, 55-75.

  • Lee, E., and Shimojo, M. (2016). Mismatch of topic between Japanese and Korean. Journal of East Asian Linguistics, 25(1), 81-112.

  • Shimojo, M. (2011). The left periphery and focus structure in Japanese. In Wataru Nakamura (ed.), New Perspectives in Role and Reference Grammar. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 266-293.

  • Shimojo, M. (2009). Focus structure and beyond: discourse-pragmatics in RRG. In Lilian Guerrero Valenzuela, Sergio Ibanez, and Valeria A. Belloro (eds.), Studies in Role and Reference Grammar, 113-141. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

  • Shimojo, M. (2008). How missing is the missing verb? The verb-less numeral quantifier construction in Japanese. In Robert Van Valin (ed.), Investigations of the Syntax-Semantics-Pragmatics Interface, 285-304. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Shimojo, M. (2005). Argument Encoding in Japanese Conversation. Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Shimojo, M. (2004). Quantifier float and information processing: a case study from Japanese. Journal of Pragmatics 36, 375-405.

  • Shimojo, M. (2001). Functional theories of island phenomena: the case of Japanese. Studies in Language 26, 67-124.

  • Shimojo, M. (1997). The role of the general category in the maintenance of numeral classifier systems: The case of tsu and ko in Japanese. Linguistics 35, 705-733.


Linguistic Society of America
International Pragmatics Association
American Association of Teachers of Japanese
Canadian Association for Japanese Language Education

Professional Service

External Examiner in Japanese for the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs
Editor, Journal CAJLE
Section Editor, Open Linguistics